The alleged sex scandal involving self-styled godman Swami Nityananda got bizarre with the discovery of purported agreements signed by women devotees to learn and practice 'ancient tantrik secrets' including nudity and sexual activity.
Nityananda, 32, was arrested in Himachal Pradesh along with four associates on Wednesday. He was brought to Bangalore on Thursday night and interrogated by the Criminal Investigation Department for a few hours on Friday, but no details were available, with sources in the agency saying nothing could be revealed at this stage.
A man hurled a slipper at Nityananda as he was being taken in a police van after being produced before a court in Ramanagara, 40 km from Bangalore, on Thursday night. Nityananda faces criminal charges including rape and hurting religious sentiments.
Nearly 50 to 60 onlookers had gathered outside the judicial magistrate's court and as soon as Nityananda came out, an onlooker flung a slipper and yelled at him, hurling expletives, a police official said. Nityananda and his close associate Nitya Bhaktananda were remanded to police custody for four days.
CID sources said several women had voluntarily signed the 'non-disclosure' agreements that raised questions of sleaze at his ashram Dhyanapeetam at Bidadi near Bangalore.
The women devotees, including some Non Resident Indians, who signed the agreement, had reportedly pledged that they would not disclose details of their activity to others, sources said.
Sources said Nityanandan was likely to be taken to his ashram on Saturday. The CID, which is probing the case, has already seized computers and hard discs from the ashram.
The arrest of Nityananda and his associates was the result of a joint operation by Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh police teams, a month after he went missing.
The self-styled godman landed in a controversy in March after TV channels telecast purported video footage showing him in a compromising position with a Tamil actress.
The Tamil Nadu police had registered cases for various crimes, including rape, against Nityananda before transferring them to Karnataka.
Rejecting the allegations, Nityananda had announced recently that he would lead a life of 'spiritual seclusion'. He has quit as the head of his ashram.